What better place to begin this series of storytelling than where our exploring began.
Vicenza, a little Italian town in the Veneto region was our home base for the coming two weeks of our first European adventure.
I never knew of or had heard about Vicenza until our dear friends were stationed there for 3 years with the military. As soon as we got off the plane and drove through the region, I knew I was instantly smitten.
Piazza dei Signori
I love the history in the States, it’s alway fascinated me. But nothing prepared me for the beauty I saw here as my first taste of Italian architecture. The history here was so much older and grander than anything I had ever seen before. What stood out to me most was the attention to detail, the colors, the textures, the brilliance of every arch, column, street, and home.
We made our reservation and ate our first true Italian pizza out on the piazza with glasses of wine. Even though I didn’t understand a word of it, the Italian chatter and conversation all around was music to my ears. The Italians treasure hospitality, fellowship, and just gathering around the table with good food. It’s an inspiration I carried home with me.
Our next day in Vicenza was on Easter Sunday, five busy and venturing days later. It was our “chill” day which was so needed just to do some laundry, nap, soak in more beauty and fellowship with friends. The day couldn’t have started any better than with the yummy breakfast our friend Mallory prepared for us on her set of hand-painted Polish dishes that a local Italian sells.
Easter baskets and egg hunts brought back so many memories of my own childhood, and getting to spend such a beautiful day with our friends was a highlight.
That evening after church, a fabulous lunch, and naps we headed to a little park right outside of town with snacks, fishing nets for salamanders, and scooters in tow. The smiles of Italian strollers and the simple greeting of “Buonasera” to each other bypassed the gap of the language barrier.
We passed freshly plowed fields, streams, home entries covered in wisteria, and church steeples in the distance. Finally we arrived at a little clearing that was something out of a storybook. When exploring with three little boys, anything and everything is a grand adventure. Crossing the little creek, running the muddy paths, finding new routes, and running back to mama because “that looked like a BEAR!”. Seeing these new places was awe inspiring in itself, but getting to experience it through their seven, five, and two-year-old eyes was a treat.
We walked a lot, absorbing everything we could. It was chilly and rainy, but it only added to the storybook charm. Shops reopened around 4pm, so we hit a few of those before being picked back up for our last pizza dinner back at the Hillis AirB&B.
I experienced this most in Vicenza, and I hope it rubbed off enough that I brought some of that simple life beauty back with me. Who knows if I’ll walk Vicenza’s streets again, but it’s a beautiful memory that will forever live on.
This is Part One of a series of Italy I’m narrating. Don’t go far, Venice is next. : )
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